For the International Women Day we decided to interview some of our female employees to better understand their experience in Nippon Gases and if they feel we can do more as a company to increase our diversity. The women we interviewed were from many different business areas and countries, with different life experiences and impressions. Some looked back through their professional careers and could not identify to have been treated differently for being a woman, others remembered special events and others even recognized having treated women differently themselves.
Despite all these different life experiences and backgrounds, all of them agreed in two statements: the benefits of having and promoting a diverse company and that there is not such a thing as a male position or a male industry. Women and men can do all the jobs we have in this company and we are proud to say that year after year more women work in positions historically held by men and the other way around.
This is something we have known for long. When the Russian business used to form part of our company we saw high percentages of women (about 40%) working in every department, plant and station, the reason being that the Russian business had started only a few years ago. We believe any of our businesses started in any country today would have the same high percentage of women. In the rest of Europe our companies have been around for many decades and we have done huge progress in the last 20 years, moving from 19% of female population to being closer to 30%. We are not stopping here and this year we want to make a special emphasis on the women who are breaking barriers in our company for a better present and future. We still find opinions about who can do some kind of jobs, but the women we have interviewed prove us how “inertial” and unrealistic those biases can be.
I am proud to say that in Nippon Gases we don’t have any single male position and we do not work in a male industry. I am proud of not having had any doubt in hiring or promoting women to positions historically held by men. I am proud of the women who are reshaping this company and of all the employees who understand that gender and other biases are a barrier for talent.
We are proud to be an equal opportunity, meritocratic company, not only on the 8th of March, but every single day of the year. Nevertheless, we also celebrate this day as a way to celebrate diversity and inclusion in our company. We may face some difficulties in our path, as we are an industrial chemical company with a long history, but we will not let that become an excuse. Our commitment to diversity and inclusion is stronger every year.
In the coming days we will publish abstracts of the interviews we held with some of our women and you will also find an article dedicated to them in the next Konnichiwa Europe issue. I invite you to meet in these interviews a small representation of our female workers.
Congratulations to all employees, women and men, who make of this company a better and high talent workplace.